123 Agreement could be used to get Dow off the hook

Staff Reporter, The Pioneer, 24 August 2007
Bhopal gas tragedy victims unhappy with 123 Agreement… say it may used as a tool to pressurise Government on Dow Chemicals application
Bhopal: While, the impasse between the Left and the Congress on the nuclear deal continuing, it seems that the 123 Agreement has suddenly turned more than important for the State capital.
This has become evident after CPI National Secretary D Raja wrote a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. In the missive, it was mentioned that the 123 agreement may be a tool to pressurise the Government to withdraw the application filed in the High Court against Dow Chemicals for depositing Rs 100 crore, as compensation for the environmental loss caused due to the gas tragedy.
Leaders of three survivors’ organisations – Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karamchari Sangh, Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Purush Sangarsh Morcha and Bhopal Group for Information and Action provided copies of the correspondence between the Prime Minister and D Raja based on environmental and criminal liabilities of Dow Chemicals.
Raja had reportedly written a letter to the Prime Minister requesting his effective intervention in the matter related to Dow Chemical’s environment and criminal liabilities in Bhopal. In his letter, Raja also mentioned the proposed 123 agreement between India and the US, which reportedly has held the uncertainty faced by Dow Chemicals as a major irritant which needed to be tackled with priority. It is pertinent to remember that Dow Chemicals had expressed its wish to invest about $ 1 billion in India.
The CPI National Secretary through the missive informed the Prime Minister that Dow Chemicals might be pressurising the Government to withdraw the application filed by the Ministry of Chemicals in the MP High Court through the 123 agreement. Remarkably, the application filed with the High Court demanded Rs 100 crore as an advance and part payment towards cost of environment redemption of the Union Carbide factory and its surroundings from Dow Chemicals.
Acquainting the Prime Minister about the pathetic condition of gas victims, Raja sought his immediate intervention so that the victims of toxic contamination of ground water and soil in Bhopal could be saved from being subjected to betrayal.

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